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Four questionable claims Obama has made on NSA surveillance

President Obama announced last week some limited reforms to National Security Agency surveillance programs. Since the first disclosures based on documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Obama has offered his own defenses of the programs. But not all of the president’s claims have stood up to scrutiny. Here are some of the misleading assertions he has made: ...

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How the government can get your digital data

Listening to your phone calls without a judge’s warrant is illegal if you’re a U.S. citizen. But police don’t need a warrant — which requires showing “probable cause” of a crime — to get just the numbers for incoming and outgoing calls from phone carriers. Instead, police can get courts to sign off on a subpoena, which only requires that the data they’re after is relevant to an investigation — a lesser stan ...

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Study: Half of Black men arrested by age 23

Nearly half of all African American males are arrested by age 23, outpacing their white counterparts, according to a new study published Jan. 6 in the journal Crime & Delinquency. Robert Brame, the study’s lead author and a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina, said the racial differences are the most striking aspect of the study. Compared to the 49 percent of the Black male population ...

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PSL teams shine in holiday hoops classic

Teams from the Detroit Public Schools showed their dominance at the fifth annual Detroit PSL Holiday Hoops Classic held Dec. 26-27 at Cass Technical High School. Of the 10 games played, nine featured the Detroit PSL against suburban, national and charter school competition. The PSL was victorious in eight of nine games. Two of the games featured girls’ match-ups with the PSL winning both games. ...

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President Obama sees 2014 as ‘breakthrough year for America’

Announcing that more than a million Americans have now registered for a plan through the Affordable Health Care Act, President Obama, in a last minute press conference before leaving for vacation in Hawaii, said he envisions 2014 as a “breakthrough year for America.” “I think 2014 needs to be a year of action,” Obama said. “I firmly believe that 2014 can be a breakthrough year for America.” ...

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President Obama grants clemency to 21

Twenty-one people experienced a special Christmas as President Obama granted them clemency. Eight received shortened sentences, most due for release in the spring. Thirteen others received outright pardons. Most were convicted of non-violent drug offenses like possession or distribution of crack cocaine. The pardons and commutations received applause from the civil rights community, which has long fought ag ...

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Youth violence higher in communities with few Black men

In neighborhoods where men are missing in action, youth violence is more likely, a recent University of Michigan study has concluded. A research team from the university’s School of Public Health zeroed in on Flint, Mich., a former auto industrial town, with a large Black population, now one of America’s most economically challenged and violent cities. They cross-referenced police data on youth assault arre ...

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Educational think tank part of EMU MLK Day celebration

“Where Do We Go from Here?” is the theme of Eastern Michigan University’s 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration. As part of their activities Jan. 16, EMU will host the MLK Education Panel, titled “Educational Reform in Michigan: How Did We Get Here and Where Do We Go From Here?” from 7-9 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom at the Student Center, EMU’s main Campus. ...

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